Standing by the vulnerable | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, September 05, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, September 05, 2017

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Standing by the vulnerable

Charity, like the notions of volunteerism and philanthropy, contributes to the creation of inclusive and more resilient societies. Charity can alleviate the worst effects of humanitarian crises, supplement public services in health care, education, housing and child protection. It also promotes the rights of the marginalised and underprivileged and spreads the message of humanity in conflict situations.

In the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals, adopted in September 2015, the United Nations recognises that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. Moreover, the Agenda also calls for a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focused in particular, on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable. It also acknowledges the role of the diverse private sector, ranging from micro-enterprises to cooperatives and  multinationals, and that of civil society organisations and philanthropic organisations in the implementation of the new Agenda. 

The International Day of Charity was established with the objective of sensitising and mobilising people, NGOs, and stakeholders all around the world to help others through volunteer and philanthropic activities with an aim of making the world a better place. 

The date of 5 September was chosen in order to commemorate the anniversary of the passing away of Mother Teresa who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979 "for work undertaken in the struggle to overcome poverty and distress, which also constitute a threat to peace." For over 45 years she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion.

In recognition of the role of charity in alleviating humanitarian crises and human suffering within and among nations, as well as of the efforts of charitable organisations and individuals, including the work of Mother Teresa, the General Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution A/RES/67/105 designated the 5th of September, the anniversary of the death of Mother Teresa, as the International Day of Charity. 

The UN recognises that in terms of development, governments cannot act alone and that civic engagement — through volunteering & philanthropy — plays an important role in creating the desired global change. By raising awareness about how difficult challenges are, eliminating societal and cultural barriers and building resilience through community action, civic engagement can contribute in this regard.

Compiled by Law Desk (Source: UN.ORG).

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